The Dolphins surprisingly haven’t yet made an offer to receiver Jarvis Landry on a contract extension, but he will not hold out of training camp or hold out during the regular season if a deal isn’t struck before then, his agent Damarius Bilbo told me this week.
Bilbo also revealed that he and Landry will not negotiate a new deal once the regular season starts. They’re open to any discussions with the Dolphins before then.
Though Landry would love a new deal at the right price, Bilbo said Landry – who can be an unrestricted free agent after this season - will “absolutely not” be angry if no deal is reached.
Landry has one year left on his contract that will pay him $893,850 this season, less money than at least 100 other NFL receivers will earn in 2017.
“The ball is still in their court; we are happy to go into a fourth year healthy and eager to put another year in the books,” Bilbo said, adding that Landry would love to spend the rest of his career as a Dolphin.
“Why get mad over something that he signed as a four-year deal? It is what it is. There will be no ill will. He has never considered a holdout. He would never consider not getting better at football.”
In explaining the decision to cut off any extension talks after the Sept. 10 opener against Tampa Bay, Bilbo said: “We want to respect the Dolphins. When the season kicks off, we want to continue to respect that. We don’t want every game to be about a new contract. This is not a tactic; that is not an approach. This is who Jarvis is and what he wants out of the upcoming season.”
The Dolphins have indicated privately they want to keep Landry beyond this season, but the sides have not discussed money at all, Bilbo said.
Miami’s options would be to offer a lucrative extension in the next 2 1/2 months, using some of its $19.6 million in available cap space (according to the NFL union web site), or use the franchise tag on Landry next spring, which would pay him close to $15 million in 2018.
Landry, who has made the Pro Bowl the past two years, set a franchise record with 110 receptions (for 1157 yards) in 2015 and caught 94 passes for 1,136 yards and four touchdowns last season.
He and Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Landry’s friend and former LSU teammate, each have 288 career receptions – the most of any players in history in their first NFL three seasons.
Bilbo declined to discuss what type of contract Landry will be seeking. Though Bilbo never said this, nobody would be surprised if Landry asks for a deal that would put him in the range of the top 10 to 12 at his position. That would mean an annual salary topping $11 million.
Bilbo said Landry’s value goes beyond sheer numbers.
“Who’s the guy that the Dolphins get the ball in their hands when they’ve got to get something going?” Bilbo said. “He’s the heartbeat. He’s the sparkplug of that offense.”
The Dolphins never have specifically told the media that they plan to offer Landry a new contract.
But coach Adam Gase, when asked about Landry earlier this offseason, said: “We’re going to do the right thing and work to keep our guys within our organization. There is a big picture that not everyone looks at and we have to do our job of making sure we do what we need to do in the right order, the right way.”
The Dolphins took care of several of their players this offseason, giving $35 million in guaranteed money to safety Reshad Jones; $17 million in guaranteed money to receiver Kenny Stills; $16.8 million in guaranteed money to defensive end Andre Branch and $18.5 million in guaranteed money to linebacker Kiko Alonso.
“Does Jarvis want to have this thing [the contract] knocked out and move on with career? Absolutely,” Bilbo said. “But he understands the business aspect. He's a highly intelligent young man and he gets it.”